Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

A day or two ago I took out a subscription to the Berlin Philharmonic's digital concert hall site, with options (so far) on 79 very recent complete concerts and future concerts to come (live if I choose). The year-long subscription (the one I took) is pricey, but the monthly one seems to me very good value if people would be able and willing to watch a lot of material in 30 days.

I wonder whether others have taken out a subscription? I must say I'm so far enjoying mine greatly. I'm not really able to get to concerts easily, and they're not terribly convenient or practical in my present circumstances, so this has been a happy alternative for me, shot as the site is in HD and with good sound (though of course sound via an average pc system isn't the real thing by any stretch...). I think the BPO has done well in adopting the methods of other orchestras (LSO and CSO Live, etc) and going one stage further. The visual element does add something.

A few thoughts. Music seen live, even if not actually 'live' (although as I say there is a live 'live' option), often has a frisson beyond a recording - to see musicians interacting with total commitment (as the players of the BPO habitually do) is a wonderful thing. There's a visual element to music-making not to be sniffed at.

That connects with how exciting it can be to follow a performance delivered in front of an audience. One of the main things which attracted me to the site was the prospect of a complete Sibelius cycle conducted by Simon Rattle last year. I started with the 2nd, and it's a fabulous performance, never overplayed but direct, fiery and assured in a way which seems to me a significant advance on Rattle's old CBSO recording. It generates a very considerable charge. (We hear the grumbles about Rattle in Berlin: but watch a performance like this and what comes across is a conductor and orchestra very much of like mind and heart, both passionate about the music. I can see why they like him.)

I'm struck, too, by the variety of music within the 79-odd concerts here, with many programmes including unusual works or premieres alongside established classics. What an education I'm hoping this will be.

It would be great to hear from anyone who's also a subscriber. Tips for which concerts to go for first?

John

RE: Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

Hi - I enjoyed some of the concerts with unusual repertoire too. I would recommend Schreker's Chamber symphony (with the training orchestra), any of the concerts featuring Zimmermann works, the concert featuring Shostakovich 4/Rattle, the concert with Strauss's Alpine Symphony/Bychkov and the Bach Concert with Koopman.  

Ted

 

RE: Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

I too got the years subscription last fall. I have been jumping around listening to the Shumann synphonies  which the BSO with Levine performed this fall, I have listened to the Mahler which the BSO was also doing and continues though Levine is now out again for the forseeable future. I really enjoyed contrasting the performances. Now I am just scrolling through the list and listening. Since my parentcare duties have made me much more housebound during my nonwork hours the Digital concert hall has been wonderful. For me, my listening experience is enhanced when I can hear and see the players. I will definitely renew.

RE: Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

The 'semi-dramatised' performance of the St Matthew Passion (11. 04. 2010) is simply one of the greatest and most profound performances of anything I have ever seen or heard. I have sat through it twice now, and will be watching it again.

Mark Padmore as a sublime narrator, Christian Gerhaher as Jesus, Magdelena Kozena, Camilla Tilling, Topi Lehtipuu (giving a performance of "O Schmerz! . . . Ich will bei meinen Jesu wachen" that pulverised me into awe), Thomas Quastoff, all give performances that are truly, awesomely, great.

The BPO musicians and the Baroque instrumentalists who join them give superlative performances, as does the wonderful Rundfunk Chor Berlin. You get the sense that all the performers, and Rattle as conductor, are deeply committed to an occassion of profound significance.

This has alone justified the cost of my year's subscription.

RE: Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

I've subscribed to the BPO for 2 years and I've been very pleased.  The programs are eclectic: the pairings of old music with each Mahler symphony in this season's cycle, for example, has been fascinating.  Who ever programmed Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary as a prelude to the 5th symphony?  The chance to hear Ligeti, Berio, Szymanowski's 4th symphony with the piano part performed by MA Hamelin...the list goes on but the point is clear-this is a chance to hear new music, bold programming and, needless to say, superb musicianship in one encounter marks this as a "vaut le voyage" to borrow Michelin's phrase.

The concert programmes in Washington, D.C. are extremely conventional and this is an added inducement for long time listeners who want to break out of the ordinary constraints.  I think Sir Simon and his colleagues and the BPO organization should be very proud of this series.  I will continue to subscribe.

LEPORELLO
RE: Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

I am also a long-time subscriber to the DCH and am very satisfied. I can only agree with Rexmannz that the Matthew Passion performance is wonderful. It is one of the most moving musical experiences of my life (live or recorded). The performance of the newly-completed 4 movement Bruckner 9 is very interesting, and I look forward to it's CD release later this year.

However having recently watched Sir Rattle in performances of Bruckner and Schubert via the DCH, isn't it a real shame that he has often fallen into the (i would call rookie) trap of thinking that louder means faster in German music? It prevents what are good performances from becoming truly great. There is no law that says louder cannot be faster, but it has to follow from the internal logic of the performance. At present it often feels 'applied' from the outside. Having said that, he has evolved immensely from the so-so Beethoven cycle with the VPO a few years ago, so the signs for the future are good! The playing of the BPO remains a thing of wonder.

RE: Berlin Philharmonic digital concert hall

Yes, I was very interested in the Bruckner: will it be released on CD? I do hope so. One of the bonuses of the website is the interview facility. I was struck by Rattle's comment that there's more Bruckner in this completed 9th than there is Mozart in the conventionally accepted 'Mozart Requiem'.

John

PC Sound

What I do is take a digital feed via the SP/DIF output on my Laptop, into the SP/DIF input into my amplifier.  Much better sound (but still limited by the bandwidth of the transmission).

Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall

I listened to Abbado´s performance of Das Lied von der Erde with Otter and Kaufman as soloists. A wonderful performance with fantastic orchestral playing!

This is one of my greatest musical eperiences ever! 

I shall also listen to Rattle´s performances - there are two. Has anyone heard them?

Digital Concert Hall

Excellent with good hd picture and some fascinating archived concrerts. Audio as of mid 1916 still only stereo but quite high bit rate. Purchased discs have surround audio. New system installed by Panasonic recently promises 4K but what audio stream? Anyone know?

bump

bump

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018